Brothers and sisters in Christ, Today’s blog begins a mini-series entitled “Faith Child – Help…” to the end of this month. They are in response to what Jesus said about helping and serving in various areas the Lord similar to what the Lord identified in ” I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25: 36
The Lord showed that He cared for the hungry when He fed the five thousands and four thousands with fish and bread – basic necessities.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said.19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Would you do same for the hungry who may be your neighbour, that beggar at the street corner you pass everyday on your way to work, or that child who attends school with your children?
What does the Bible say about how we should treat the hungry?
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.
Jesus personalized this giving to the hungry.
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
Response : The Lord is serious about our feeding the hungry whom we should share our food with. to the extent He says we are feeding Him instead of the hungry when we do it. He is appreciative of the effort for the hungry and will punish in hell those who have not helped feed the hungry. What is our response? Our decision to go according to God’s plans or to go according to our plans?
Here is information about the World Hunger Project
Of the 925 million people suffering from chronic hunger, 98 percent live in the developing world.Unlike famines that receive emergency-aid, chronic hunger is a silent, invisible, day-after-day condition.
Hunger, poverty and food prices are inextricably linked. Not every poor person is hungry, but almost all hungry people are poor. Millions live with hunger and malnourishment because they simply cannot afford to buy enough food, cannot afford nutritious foods or cannot afford the farming supplies they need to grow enough good food of their own. Hunger can be viewed as a dimension of extreme poverty. It is often called the most severe and critical manifestation of poverty.
The only way for people to move beyond chronic hunger and their vulnerability to ever-rising food prices is to employ sustainable methods based on self-reliance.
The Hunger Project (THP) works to empower rural communities in strengthening their self-reliance in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, where the highest concentrations of hungry people live.
How they help
- Empower people to create, stock and manage their own food banks at the community level. In Africa, THP epicenter food banks provide storage for excess harvest and ensure the food security of our partners during off-sea:sons. In 2010 alone, community members stocked 482,040 kilograms of grains in food banks.
- Develop income-generating activities. Trained THP partners implement income-generating activities: from sewing projects in Mexico to cow-fattening projects in Bangladesh. This enables the women and men of these communities to increase their incomes, so that they can purchase the food they need.
- Promote sustainable farming practices. Local agricultural experts teach THP partners how to create and manage community farms. Villagers learn techniques to sustainably improve crop yields, providing entire communities with increased access to food.
- Ensure access to microfinance. Our Microfinance Program trains and empowers villagers, with a special focus on women food farmers, who grow 80 percent of the household food in sub-Saharan Africa. Partners learn how to increase their incomes and use their savings to improve the health, education and nutrition of their families. As of the end of 2010, 45,000 women and men were participating in our Microfinance Program.
For more information : http://www.thp.org/learn_more/issues/world_hunger?gclid=CPOpzfKD6rQCFcl66wod7xAAzg
Let us look out for those who are hungry and touch lives with the love of the Lord.
- those who will remain hungry in the long-term, local or overseas, because they cannot find work because of structural unemployment or are unable to work because oflong -term health or family situations – these would be catered more by food programs like Meals on Wheels or by church mission projects on a country basis as run by the World Hunger project.
- those who are temporarily in a spot due to temporary lay-offs, project completion or due to temporary difficulties like short medical conditions e.g. hospitalization, families of those needing a hand to access or prepare the food which as individuals it is easier to facilitate. These would be your poor family members, neighbours, children’s school mates or class mates, relatives, church members or those who are in half way houses for battered families, wives, husbands, drug addicts, alcoholics etc who are getting treatment and need time to get on to their feet again.
Father, thank You for every blessing You have bestowed in our lives. Please open our eyes that we may see the opportunities for service to the hungry. Give us wisdom to distribute the limited resources we have in our hands and send these in Your love to touch lives for You. Help us not procrastinate but be timely in our assistance. Amen.